Balko Des Flos Cheltenham Race Preview

Balko Des Flos and Potters Corner are declared to run at Cheltenham tomorrow in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at 2.55pm.

Rachael Blackmore takes the ride on Balko Des Flos.

Jack Tudor takes the ride on Potters Corner.

Declarations can be viewed here.

The race will be shown live on ITV4 and Racing TV (channel 426 on Sky).

Balko Des Flos and Potters Corner are back in action tomorrow at Cheltenham in the cross country race as part of a fantastic day one of the prestigious November meeting.

Both horses had their prep runs three weeks ago for this race and reports since have been very encouraging.

Balko Des Flos took a liking to the cross country fences back at the Cheltenham Festival in March before stumbling and unshipping Rachael Blackmore. Rachael reported that day that he loved the change of fence style which we then saw at Aintree in the Grand National.

Tomorrow Balko Des Flos carries top weight of 11 stone 12 pounds which is a stone more than the next of his rivals in the handicap. As his rating suggests, he is by far the best horse in the race but giving so much weight away to his rivals makes it a tough task.

Since Galway his trainer Henry De Bromhead has been very pleased with his work. He’s lost a lot of weight and will strip far fitter ahead of tomorrow. Henry has sharpened up his jumping by doing some loose schooling in the indoor arena which Balko seemed to enjoy.

Henry De Bromhead said,

“Balko Des Flos is in great form. This race has been the plan since the Grand National. It was important to get a run into him at Galway and tomorrow I’m hoping he runs a very big race. He was going well in the cross country back at the Festival before his unfortunate unseat of Rachael.

Obviously he is carrying a big weight compared to his rivals but he’s entitled to it as he really is a top class horse. Fingers crossed Balko and Rachael have a safe trip round and if they do, I’d be very hopeful he’d be in the mix.”

Potters Corner ran in this race last year finishing 3rd. Jack Tudor again takes the ride tomorrow and is 11 pounds lower in the handicap than the mark he ran off last year.

Ideally he’d want some more cut in the ground but hopefully he goes well. He had a nice prep run at Aintree three weeks ago which should put him spot on for tomorrow.

Christian Williams said.

“Potters Corner seems in great order. Since Aintree he’s done plenty of work and I’m hopeful he puts up a much improved performance tomorrow. A little bit of rain would be a help but it was decent ground in this race last year when he finished third. We’ll ride him patiently and let Jack get him into a rhythm and see how we go.”

RacehorseClub ambassador Davy Russell said,

“It’s great RacehorseClub is represented by Balko Des Flos and Potters Corner in such an important race in the racing calendar. To have two fancied runners at a big meeting like this is great.

Balko Des Flos has plenty of weight but he’s an exceptional horse and as we saw in April he still retains plenty of ability. Potters Corner ran very well in this race last year so there’s no reason why he can’t go well again.”

RacehorseClub’s Freddy Tylicki said,

“Tomorrow is a big day for our members and fingers crossed both horses do us all proud. Both Henry and Christian are very happy with them so hopefully they go well. Most importantly they come back safe and sound and everyone enjoys the day. It’s great that there will be many owners ticket ballot winners on track to cheer on their horses."

Balko Des Flos is currently priced around 9/2 and an each way bet is advised.

Potters Corner is currently priced around 9/1 and an each way bet is advised.

A hugely exciting day ahead and the very best of luck to all members.